Human Nature: Good or Evil?

Topics: Religion, Morality, Human Pages: 3 (1072 words) Published: March 3, 2008
For centuries many philosophers, as well as most individuals, have pondered on the question what is good and what is evil. More-so philosophers of all ages have also stumbled upon a more in depth question which is if the intuitive knowledge of man's nature is good, or if it is evil. Many have claimed to have an answer to these puzzling questions yet most of their answers were found to be incomplete and inadequate at a later date. Religion also tried to provide a solution but to my understanding only caused more of an entanglement if anything.

According to the current definition from Webster, good is defined as morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious; where as evil is defined as morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked. One could argue that good and evil according to modern definitions are based on morals and if so then what can possibly be perceived as a moral or immoral act? What other being has the right to tell another what may be morally correct when morals should lye within ones own self? For instance, most people in present day society could agree that cannibalism is immoral or is wrong however what about those few tribes, such as the Asmat, that still practice it today? Yes, to society as a whole it is wrong to kill and eat other humans but to this tribe it is perfectly acceptable to do so. Thusly, this proves that the perception of morals varies between individuals and therefore in return means that good and evil are different for everyone as well.

According to one of the great Chinese philosophers Mensius, human nature is perceived as good when an individual is born. He believes that "All men have a mind which cannot bear to see the sufferings of others" or that we cannot stand to see others hurting. Now, if we went on this basis then we could use an example of a young child about to crawl and fall in some kind of well or deep hole. I guarantee almost everyone would venture over and attempt to save this child before he/she fell and possibly...
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